First Day of School Letter

           LF Smith Elementary School

1401 Avenue A / South Houston, Texas 77587

A Texas Recognized School


September 11, 2017


Dear Parents,


Welcome back (againJ) for the 2017-2018 school year!  We are so excited about the coming year in our beautiful, new building!  I just wanted to touch base with you on a few topics to keep our school running smoothly and safely.  First, we hope you’ve taken the opportunity to walk your child/children to class the first few days of school so that you could see the school and help your kids feel more comfortable and secure in the new school.  Beginning, Tuesday, September 12th, we will need to minimize the flow of traffic within the school and maintain school security by asking that you drop children off at the side school doors and allow the children to go to the cafeteria, gym, and/or classroom with school staff supervision.  I know we are still all getting used to the new traffic patterns at this school.  As we discussed at our parent meeting on August 18th, we are asking all car traffic (except for the school bus and PPCD program) to enter the school from Shaver.  Students will be dropped off in the morning along the side of the school.  We have school staff there to help unload and direct the students to the cafeteria.  The traffic moves really quickly in the morning since we don’t have everyone arriving at one time.  You are welcome to drop your child off as early as 7:10 AM if they are eating breakfast.  If your child is a walker, we ask that you use the crossing guards on Perez for their safety.  We moved the crossing guard from Allen Genoa to the front of the school.  This will give us two crossing zones for your convenience. 


Dismissal traffic will also enter the school from Shaver.  We ask that car traffic approach from Queens and take a right into our stack up lane.  We are working with the City to have a barricade placed on Shaver so that traffic will not be able to enter from Spencer.  We know that at dismissal, the traffic is stacking up on Shaver.  We are doing our very best to move the cars through as quickly and efficiently as possible.  You can help by making sure that your car tag is visible.   We thank you for your patience as we continue to make adjustments. 


Since we are still working on procedures and routines in our new building, we ask that if you would like to visit your child’s classroom, you wait until October 2nd at the earliest to do so.  If you would like to visit you are required to check in at the office, receive a visitor’s badge, and sign in.  As a courtesy, please schedule your classroom visits through the classroom teacher.


As we begin this new school year, I just wanted to let you know that we will continue the policy we started several years ago regarding conduct grades and extra-curricular privileges.  We will continue to require all students to maintain at least a “B-” average in conduct in order to participate in special activities (i.e. classroom parties, track and field, field day, field trips, special programs on campus, etc.).  We will review the three weeks’ conduct grades prior to the special activity to determine eligibility.  Based on the results from the last several years, we have found that this provides an incentive for students to strive for excellence in behavior.


All students (1st – 4th grade) who maintain an “A” in conduct for the year and do not have any office referrals, will be invited to participate in our end of the year Splash Day Celebration.  The yearly “A” conduct will be based on an “A” earned on the report card for each 9-week grading period. 


Kindergarten students will be invited to participate in Splash Day if they have maintained an “A” in conduct each week of school as reported in the weekly Tuesday folder (this begins with the 2nd nine-week period through the end of the school year).  The first 9-weeks in Kindergarten will not impact our students’ participation in Splash Day since our Kindergarten students are still learning school expectations.  Pre-Kindergarten students will not be eligible to participate in Splash Day.


As in the past, our students will bring home a Tuesday folder.  This folder will include their weekly conduct grade, papers that they have worked on that can remain at home, and papers that should be signed and returned to school.  We ask that you look at your child’s folder every Tuesday, review the conduct grade and papers with your child, sign the conduct folder, and return the folder to school the next school day.  If your child is sent to the office for a major infraction during the week, this will result in an “F” for the weekly conduct grade.  With most office visits, a parent will be contacted by one of the principals.  It is our hope that by working together, we will be able to keep students on track. 


Six years ago we began implementing a lunch schedule so that you could visit your child at lunch one day a week.  This year, even though we are in the new school, our cafeteria is still quite small.  Unfortunately, you will still be able to visit only one day a week for lunch, but we will allow you to pick the day that is most convenient for you.  We will maintain a lunch visitor’s log where our lunch guests will sign in.


For our car riders, we passed out the car-rider tags again this year so that you can indicate the name of your child, the teacher, and the grade level.  We ask that parents please utilize these tags every day since it makes the dismissal traffic flow much more quickly.  After Friday, September 15th, any parents picking up students in cars without car rider tags, will need to enter the office to show their identification and receive a new tag.  Please help us keep your children safe by driving up to pick up your child at the appropriate school location.  Please do not ask your child to walk to an off-campus location for car pick-up.  This is very dangerous. 


We know that with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey some of our kids lost their clothing, school supplies, etc.  Please contact the school if your family was seriously impacted.  We’d like to be able to help you get in touch with community services. 


Please feel free to call the school office at (713)740-0720 if you have any questions or concerns. 

Thanks so much for all your help and support!  2017-2018 will be our best year ever!




Cathy Danna                           Letty Balderaz                        Araceli Rodriguez

Principal                                  Assistant Principal                 Counselor